Big 12: Cliff Avril

Big 12 viewer's guide: Week 9

October, 24, 2014
Oct 24
10:00
AM ET
In Week 9 of Big 12 action, Kansas State and TCU will attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive, while Texas and Texas Tech will try to take a step on the road toward bowl eligibility. West Virginia, meanwhile, will look to keep rolling at Oklahoma State, which hopes to bounce back after getting blown out last week.

Those, among others, will be the storylines to watch Saturday in the Big 12:

Texas at No. 11 Kansas State, noon ET (ESPN): If the numbers are any indication, Texas won’t get anything easy in this game. Kansas State has allowed only 19 plays of 20 yards or more, which is the fewest given up by any Big 12 defense. The Longhorns have been better offensively the last two weeks. Still, only Kansas and Iowa State have produced fewer 20-yard-plus plays in the Big 12 than the Longhorns. Running backs Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown have also had problems breaking loose from the line of scrimmage. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Texas is averaging 1.4 yards after contact on designed runs, the worst average among Power 5 offenses. The Longhorns will have to be better on the ground to have a chance of pulling the upset in Manhattan, Kansas.

[+] EnlargeClint Trickett
AP Photo/Chris JacksonClint Trickett has thrown 15 touchdown passes and only five interceptions this season.
No. 22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): How much better has West Virginia QB Clint Trickett been this year? He has improved his Total QBR by 29 points from last season, the third-largest increase among Power 5 QBs, according to ESPN Stats & Information. One reason for the dramatic improvement has been the long ball. Trickett has already thrown eight touchdowns on passes of 20 yards or more, tied for third among Power 5 QBs. He had just one such touchdown pass all of last season. Kevin White, the nation’s leading receiver, has been on the other end of the majority of Trickett’s long throws. White tops the country with 16 receptions of 20 yards or more. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has been even more reliant on throwing deep. Daxx Garman has 35 completions on passes thrown 15 yards or longer, tied for the most by a Power 5 QB. One thing is certain in this game: The ball will be flying downfield often.

Texas Tech at No. 10 TCU, 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX): Trickett isn’t the only Big 12 QB who has been a completely a different player this year. Trevone Boykin’s Total QBR is up 28.7 points from last season, the fifth-largest increase in college football, per ESPN Stats & Information. Thanks in big part to Boykin’s turnaround, the Horned Frogs have featured one of the best big-play offenses in the country. TCU has 13 touchdown drives of three plays of fewer, tied for the most such drives in the country, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Boykin & Co. could add to that total this weekend. Texas Tech's defensive efficiency is the worst among Power 5 teams. Opponents have scored a touchdown on 36 percent of their drives against Tech, the worst percentage of any Power 5 defense. The Red Raiders will probably need their best defensive effort of the year to have any shot at toppling the surging Horned Frogs.

Aggies hire defensive line coach Terrell Williams from Purdue

February, 1, 2010
2/01/10
7:39
PM ET
Texas A&M has hired former Purdue assistant coach Terrell Williams as Mike Sherman's new defensive line coach.

It fills a position created when former defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt resigned to accept the position at Kansas on Turner Gill's new staff, the San Antonio Express-News reports. It was the first hiring by new Texas A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter.

Williams, 35, has come to A&M after four seasons coaching the Boilermakers' defensive linemen. He comes with a strong reputation for developing individual talents such as Anthony Spencer, Cliff Avril, Alex Magee, Mike Neal and Ryan Kerrigan.

The Boilermakers ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally in 2009 as they averaged 2.67 sacks per game. Kerrigan was third nationally with an average of 1.08 sacks per game.

But the Boilermakers struggled mightily against the run, ranking 94th nationally and last in the Big Ten conference against the run. Purdue was gashed for at least 200 yards rushing in four different games during its 5-7 season. Additionally, the Boilermakers yielded 26 rushing touchdowns to rank tied for 100th nationally and in front of only Florida State (27 rushing touchdowns allowed), A&M (29 rushing touchdowns allowed) and Washington State (35 touchdowns allowed) among schools in conferences with automatic BCS berths.

A&M fans continue to hope that legendary former A&M player Dat Nguyen eventually will end up on DeRuyter's staff. Kines coached linebackers in addition to being the defensive coordinator. DeRuyter had no specific positional duties at the Air Force Academy and may be inclined to head to that position on his new staff, freeing up a spot for the former Lombardi and Bednarik award winner on his staff.

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